As October comes to a close, so does National Domestic Violence Awareness and Month. First declared in 1989, October brings attention to educational resources connected to domestic violence prevention and supporting survivors.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the incidence of domestic violence increased. Domestic violence became a pandemic within a pandemic, as detailed in a White House briefing issued in September. Many victims faced pressures of increased economic insecurity, increased time in isolation with their abusers, and limited contact with their support networks.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 4 women and 1 in 10 men will experience domestic violence in their lifetime.
Recorded in 2020, a series of webinars by UT Police and MD Anderson’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provide the community with information and resources on intimate partner abuse.
"The goal of the series is to ensure that our workforce is aware of the different resources available to them and their families. We also want people to know the signs of abuse and how to report it," said EAP Specialist Kendra Lee-Martin who helped facilitate the events. "If you or someone you know needs a trusted professional to talk to confidentially, contact MD Anderson's EAP at 713-745-6901," Lee-Martin advises. "We are here to help you with problems that affect your life both on and off the job."
The series is available to view online and includes presentations from a private-practice certified licensed therapist, an ombudsperson with MD Anderson, a victim's counselor with Aid to Victims of Domestic Violence (AVDA), and UT Police Community Outreach and Threat Management Team professionals.
UT Police’s Threat Management Team are law enforcement professionals who prevent or intervene in situations that may pose a threat to people or our institutions. The Threat Management Team collaborates with the Behavioral Intervention Teams (STOP/2-STOP and Employee Assistance Programs) and serves as the rapid response portion of both intervention teams.
MD Anderson EAP and UTHealth EAP sites contain additional information to help in many different aspects of life. Employees can take advantage of programs that help with mental, physical, financial, personal and professional, and occupational well-being. Consultations are strictly confidential and consistent with applicable laws pertaining to mental health professionals.
Additionally, MD Anderson’s Caring Fund allows qualifying employees and educational appointees to apply for funding support when disasters or personal hardships strike.
Operation 24 hours a day, The National Domestic Violence Hotline provides life-saving tools and immediate support for callers. For help with domestic violence, call 800-799-SAFE (7233).